deceased 1 of 3

deceased

2 of 3

noun

deceased

3 of 3

verb

past tense of decease

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective deceased contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of deceased are dead, defunct, departed, and late. While all these words mean "devoid of life," deceased, departed, and late apply to persons who have died recently. deceased is the preferred term in legal use.

the estate of the deceased

Where would dead be a reasonable alternative to deceased?

While in some cases nearly identical to deceased, dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (such as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life.

a dead, listless performance

When is defunct a more appropriate choice than deceased?

The meanings of defunct and deceased largely overlap; however, defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation.

a defunct television series

When could departed be used to replace deceased?

The words departed and deceased can be used in similar contexts, but departed is used usually as a euphemism.

our departed sister

When is it sensible to use late instead of deceased?

Although the words late and deceased have much in common, late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status.

the company's late president

Thesaurus Entries Near deceased

Cite this Entry

“Deceased.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/deceased. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on deceased

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!